Why Stanford needs Black Love

‘Black Love is a celebration of the love and talent in this community and beyond’

This past Valentine’s Day was quite different than any I had experienced before.  No, I was not out on some romantic date and no I didn’t spend it redefining my independence with a night out for Galentine’s Day.

Instead I spent my evening celebrating Black Love, something I think is not defined enough in society.

Today, it seems like the concept of Black anything is complicated. A colored person can be labeled as too Black or not Black enough. And in other instances, Black anything is extremely simplified. The media will easily portray a sassy Black woman in a television show or movie and her only back story will be the color of her skin.

Black Power, Black Lives, Black Love. The idea behind Black anything also seems to serve as a sense of empowerment.

But the concept of Black Love has a complex simplicity. Is it when two black people are dating or in a relationship? Is it the love and affection shown from a black parent to his/her child? Or is Black Love just a hallmark concept?


This year’s Black Love concert, hosted by Stanford’s Black Student Union, served as a space to emphasize and empower love in the community as well as self-love.

After attending this concert and being a part of the Black Love committee, I think different definitions behind the concept are worth exploring. Today, Black Love is the idea of togetherness and unity in the black community.

According to Tiara Gaillard, chair of the Black Love committee: “Black Love is a celebration of the love and talent in this community and beyond, as well as a counter-narrative to the far too often negative depictions of Black people in mainstream media.”

But I think James Baldwin, African American poet and novelist, defines it best. Black Love is “to be loved, hard, at once and forever; to strengthen you against the loveless world.”

In Stanford’s community: “Black Love is a celebration of love in its myriad of forms.”

But I encourage everyone to explore these definitions of Black Love around you and spread these ideas of empowerment and love beyond the Stanford community. Strengthen those around you, because we could all use a little Black Love.

Stanford University